Thursday, August 23, 2007

Summer Reading

Twilight by William Gay
Provinces of Night by William Gay
Fay by Larry Brown
Paris, a Secret History by Andrew Hussey
The Paperboy by Pete Dexter
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Cripple Creek by James Sallis
Lonely Avenue by Halberstadt

William Gay has been my latest discovery. What an excellent writer he is, in terms of language and evocation of place. Fay, the UK edition of which must have the worst cover ever, is another fine novel from the late Larry Brown. Having spent 12 weeks in France, I had to read Paris, a noir history in itself. While The Paperboy completes my reading of Dexter’s work. Up to his usual standard, with his journalistic ear and eye never far off. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union is entertaining and imaginative, and might have been better had I not been acquainted with the work of Jerome Charyn. Haruf's Plainsong is one of those engaging novels that’s impossible to put down. I’m surprised no one has adapted it for the screen. As with Gay, Haruf creates a world in which, for all its faults, one would gladly live. Cripple Creek may not be the best Sallis novel ever, but it sneaks up on you and delivers a knock out punch. As usual, it’s about redemption, survival, and recovery. Lonely Avenue, Alex Halberstadt’s biography of the great Doc Pomus is also well worth checking out. A larger than life character in a larger than life world.